PM Shehbaz Announces Rs50 Billion Relief Package for Low-Consumption Electricity Users

PM Shehbaz Sharif announces a three-month relief package worth Rs50 billion for those consuming under 200 units per month.
PM Shehbaz Announces Rs50 Billion Relief Package for Low-Consumption Electricity Users

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif announced a three-month relief period for electricity lifeline consumers with monthly consumption below 200 units. The initiative, revealed during a press conference in Islamabad, is set to benefit 25 million domestic consumers, constituting 94% of the total consumer base.


A post on the official X account of PTV News detailed the relief, stating, "The government will give a discount of Rs50 billion to the electricity lifeline consumers in July, August, and September. For three months, 25 million consumers of the country will benefit from the government’s relief."


Addressing the press, PM Shehbaz outlined that the package would offer relief of up to Rs7 per unit to protected category consumers. "Today, an amount of Rs50bn has been allocated to provide relief of Rs 4-7 per unit as a concession to our protected category consumers using up to 200 units a month for a three-month period from July to September. This will benefit around 25 million domestic power consumers which constitute around 94% of the total consumer base," he emphasized.


The prime minister underscored the federal government’s commitment to public relief, achieved by reallocating funds from its development budget. This move contrasts with the "hollow claims" of previous administrations. He assured further relief as the government continues its fiscal measures, including taxing the elite, expanding the tax net, closing non-performing entities, and addressing financial leakages.


During the conference, PM Shehbaz also highlighted a new agreement to solarize around 28,000 tube wells in Balochistan, a measure expected to save Rs80-90 billion annually. This model is planned to be expanded to other provinces, aiming to mitigate the financial burden of running tube wells on imported oil.


Moreover, he acknowledged the justified protests of the salaried class against new taxes imposed on the real estate sector, a measure anticipated to generate around Rs100 billion. "The time has come for the elite class to pay back to the country," PM Shehbaz remarked.


Amid public discontent and potential political repercussions, the government decided to retract a previously approved 51% increase in electricity rates for protected consumers, a 'prior action' required by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Instead, the resultant Rs50 billion revenue gap will be covered through government subsidies and innovative tariff setting.


The revised tariff plan will be effective from July 1, 2024, across all ex-Wapda distribution companies (Discos) and K-Electric, in alignment with the IMF's requirements.